How to Use an Air Fryer as a Dehydrator - Meal Prepify

After all, they both circulate air; therefore, is it possible to dehydrate food in an air fryer?

Some air fryers may be used as a dehydrator, which is true. This option is pre-programmed in some air fryers, while others allow you to adjust the heat setting to avoid cooking the food.

In this post, we’ll go over what to look for in an air fryer to see if it’s ideal for dehydrating meals, as well as which air fryer is best for dehydrating foods.

What Is An Air Fryer, And How Does It Work?

Air fryers are a standard household device that may replace a deep-fat fryer. With only one tablespoon of oil, an air fryer can bake your food in a style that is similar to deep-frying in terms of crispiness.

Air fryers function similarly to convection ovens. They circulate the air to ensure that the heat is distributed correctly throughout the meal. Consequently, your meal will have a consistent texture and cook evenly throughout.

The meal’s crispiness is due to the hot air drying any surface moisture, letting the food cook while crisping simultaneously. Maybe you interested about everyday dishes.

As opposed to oil fryers, air fryers are traditionally used to prepare chips or other fried veggies or meats and are a safer, healthier appliance to have in your house.

What Is The Purpose Of A Food Dehydrator?

Food dehydrators are machines that gently eliminate moisture from food until it is scorched. It is accomplished by gently circulating warm air to facilitate sluggish water evaporation.

Depending on the meal, it can take anywhere from 4 to 40 hours. Still, the gradual process ensures that the water evaporates without cooking or browning the food.

Food dehydration may make it more crunchy, brittle, or chewy, depending on what it is, how much water it has at the start, and how long you dehydrate it for.

Dehydrators usually contain mesh layers or shelves that allow you to spread thin layers of the food you wish to dehydrate equally, allowing the food to dehydrate evenly.

The mesh shelves also allow more air to flow, reducing the need to turn or move the dehydrating goods.

What Is The Difference Between A Dehydrator And An Air Fryer?

Both Air Fryers and Dehydrators circulate air for consistent heat distribution; however, there are significant distinctions between them.

An air fryer cooks food fast at a high temperature, making it brown and crisp. A dehydrator prevents color change by operating at a lower temperature, usually between 40 and 42 degrees Celsius. This preserves the freshness of the food without requiring it to be cooked.

Due to these operating temperatures, the air fryer only takes 5-30 minutes to cook. Still, a dehydrator might take many hours or days to finish the drying process.

What Are Some Of The Advantages Of Dehydrating Food?

Dehydrating food rather than cooking it has been found to maintain the nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables.

With the raw vegan movement, dehydration as a ‘cooking’ method has risen in popularity; there are now many online recipes for ‘raw’ versions of crackers, loaves of bread, and cakes that all utilize a dehydrator instead of a standard oven.

Dehydration can also help to preserve food and extend its shelf life. By removing the water content, bacteria and mold are prevented from growing, which slows down the decomposition of fresh vegetables.

Dried fruit is an excellent example; once the moisture has been removed from the fruit, which would ordinarily last about a week or two, it may now last for several months.

How Can An Air Fryer Be Used As A Dehydrator?

An air fryer may be used as a dehydrator since it works similarly to a dehydrator by uniformly spreading air. However, it’s crucial to understand how your air fryer works and whether it’s appropriate for your needs.

To begin, your air fryer must be set to a low heat setting. If the temperature rises over 45°C, the food will begin to cook rather than dehydrate, not preserving it.

It’s also crucial to have a robust air venting system since the water must be adequately discharged. Condensation will occur if the water is caught and retained within the unit, and the food will reabsorb the moisture.

Your air fryer should ideally have enough room for you to spread out the food thinly. When utilizing an air fryer for dehydration, it’s ideal to utilize either a steam rack or a shelf. It allows air to circulate underneath the meal rather than just above it.

Otherwise, you’ll have to perform it in smaller batches. It won’t dehydrate as efficiently if everything is overly clustered.

Finally, ensure that your air fryer can endure prolonged use since it will be on for several hours instead of the usual 15-30 minutes.

Although some air fryers include a dehydration mode, use the same recipe or directions as if you were using a dehydrator. You should get comparable results if you use the same temperature and drying time.

Dehydrating Food with Air Fryers

Here are a few of my favorite air fryers that can also be used to dehydrate food:

Vortex in an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot Vortex is now one of the most popular air fryers on the market. The gadget comes in three sizes and has seven pre-programmed cooking methods, including dehydration and air frying.


Additional features of the Cosori air fryer include an innovative Wi-Fi-equipped variant. While there are no pre-programmed dehydration settings on this air fryer, you can dehydrate within it. The intelligent features make it much more manageable.


This air fryer comes with tray inserts and is built with a dehydration feature in mind. It features a sleek digital display that allows you to access the many pre-programmed cooking settings quickly. The air fryer is available in a single capacity of 6.3 quarts.

Foods That Help You Dehydrate

Fruits and vegetables are the easiest to dehydrate, although meats and beverages can also be dried. Apple slices, stone fruits, berries, tomatoes, and mushrooms all work well since the dehydration process enhances the flavor and texture while preserving them.

As previously said, the raw vegan diet has made it possible to utilize a dehydrator or an air fryer to create a variety of new dehydration recipes.

To add extra texture and stiffness to the whole meal, dehydrate raw cakes, biscuits, crackers, or even raw pizza dough. Many recipes may be found online, and they should inspire you to try dehydration more often.